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Green Mac and Cheese

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This fun and tasty green mac and cheese will be a hit with the whole family!

It's delicious enough that adults will love it and if you call it monster mac, you can talk the kids into eating it too!

The sauce saves well in the refrigerator and makes enough for two batches of pasta if you like a less saucy mac and cheese.

Green mac and cheese in a bowl with a silver fork.

This tasty spinach and cauliflower cheese sauce is a great way to sneak veggies into a pasta dish.

It's easy to make and only requires a few ingredients!

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Ingredients

Here's what you'll need to make this delicious green mac cheese!

Ingredients for green mac and cheese.
  • Fresh or Frozen Cauliflower
  • Baby Spinach (or other greens of your choice) 
  • Milk (whole milk, skim milk, or oat milk) 
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Pasta (small shape of your choice)
  • Kosher Salt
  • Ground Black Pepper (optional)

See the recipe card for quantities.

Instructions

Cut the cauliflower into large pieces and place in a large pot with enough water to cover the cauliflower.

Cooking cauliflower in water.

Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 to 8 minutes or until the cauliflower is fork-tender.

Cauliflower boiling in a pot of water.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions. Before straining, retain a cup of pasta water in case the sauce is too thick. 

Pasta shells boiling in a pot of water.

Add the cooked cauliflower, baby spinach, milk, cheese, salt, and optional pepper to a blender or food processor.

Cheese, spinach, and cauliflower in a blender.

Blend for 1 to 2 minutes until the sauce is creamy and smooth. Add ¼ cup of pasta water at a time to loosen the sauce if it is too thick. 

Green sauce in a blender.

Combine either the full amount of sauce with the pasta if you want a saucy pasta or half the sauce with the pasta (put the remaining sauce in the fridge or freezer) if you want a boxed mac and cheese like consistency. 

Top with additional salt or pepper if desired.

Green sauce mixed with pasta in a pot.

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Substitutions & Variations

Here are some optional variations on this recipe.

  • Greens - you can use any greens of your choice in this recipe instead of baby spinach - arugula or regular spinach.
  • Cheese - feel free to use other types of cheeses in addition to cheddar or in place of cheddar like gruyere, gouda, or Monterey jack.
  • Toppings - if you'd like to make this recipe a little fancier feel free to add chopped fresh herbs of your choice like parsley, sage, or oregano.
Green mac and cheese in a white bowl with a spoon.

Storage

You can save the pasta and sauce for up to 5 days in the refrigerator when stored in an airtight container.

I don't recommend freezing pasta, but the sauce can be frozen for up to 6 months when stored in a freezer-safe container or Ziploc bag.

Tips for Making this Recipe

Links on some posts are affiliate links and as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Cooking Tips - Save a bit of the water you cook the pasta in to loosen the sauce if necessary. It can get a bit thick!

Diet/Allergy Alternatives - If you'd like to make this plant-based, just swap the cheese for vegan cheese and use plant-based milk like oat or soy.

If you try this recipe, let us know! Connect with us on Instagram and share your photos or leave us a rating.

Yield: 6 servings

Green Mac and Cheese

Green mac and cheese in a white bowl with a spoon.

This fantastic and fun green mac and cheese will be a hit with the whole family! It's a great way to sneak some veggies into a pasta dish.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cauliflower (or 4 cups frozen cauliflower)
  • 1 pound pasta (small shape of your choice)
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 cup of milk (whole milk, skim milk, or oat milk)
  • 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Cut the cauliflower into large pieces and place in a large pot with enough water to cover the cauliflower. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 to 8 minutes or until the cauliflower is fork tender.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions. Before straining, retain a cup of pasta water in case the sauce is too thick. 
  3. Add the cooked cauliflower, baby spinach, milk, cheese, salt, and optional pepper to a blender or food processor. Blend for 1 to 2 minutes until the sauce is creamy and smooth. Add ¼ cup of pasta water at a time to loosen the sauce if it is too thick. 
  4. Combine either the full amount of sauce with the pasta if you want a saucy pasta or half the sauce with the pasta (put the remaining sauce in the fridge or freezer) if you want a boxed mac and cheese like consistency. 
  5. Top with additional salt or pepper if desired.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 278Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 436mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 4gSugar: 5gProtein: 14g
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